NINE out of 10 schools in Worcestershire are now open daily to reception, year one and year six students, following the wider re-opening of schools since June 1.

There are 202 schools across the county currently providing education to reception, year one and year six pupils.

Every one of them has completed a detailed risk assessment to prepare for the return of pupils.

Attendance across the county’s schools has risen this week to 15.5% of the total proportion of children in school, higher than the national average of 11.6%.

The county council is appreciative of the work that schools and settings have done since lockdown began on March 23, many of them remaining open for the children of key workers and vulnerable children as well as supporting virtual learning for pupils.

Dr Catherine Driscoll, chief executive of Worcestershire Children First, said: “I’m so pleased to be hearing positive feedback from staff and students about their experiences returning to school.

"Everyone involved in the preparation of the return to school has worked so hard to make it all come together in Worcestershire, and there’s nothing more rewarding than the smiles on the faces of our students and teachers.

"The positive figures we are able to report are thanks to the great collaboration between schools and the staff at Worcestershire Children First and the County Council, and I am immensely proud of what we have been able to achieve during the pandemic.”

Councillor Marcus Hart, cabinet member with responsibility for education and skills, said: “It was great to be able to visit 3 schools locally this week and see how staff and students have adapted to the coronavirus pandemic in action.

"Over the coming weeks I will be visiting more schools across the county. I’m really grateful to all the staff, in our schools, and at the local authority, for the tireless work and preparation that has gone in to help make the return to school as smooth as possible and I’m really pleased to be able to have the opportunity to see the progress first hand and take the time to thank staff and students personally for their efforts.”

Secondary schools have been open across the county for years 10 and 12 from June 15.